November 21st, 2014
| Survivor: Vulvar Cancer
Is it possible to come to terms with cancer treatment and everything that your body is going to have to endure? According to Jami, it was the best thing she could have done.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer I wasn't sure what journey lay ahead of me. So many decisions to make! When my doctor at MD Anderson in Houston, Dr. Eifel, laid out the radiation treatment plan for me it seemed rather long, but thought I could do it. Then she decided to add chemotherapy as well once a week, so on Mondays I would get radiation in the morning and chemo for 5 hours in the afternoon.
Mondays were very long days.
I began to feel agitated and began to suffer from the side effects. It seemed I was fighting against this happening to me. I didn't want to have cancer. I didn't want chemo and the weakness and nausea that goes with it. I didn't want the endless IV insertions. I have small veins anyway and it was painful to find one. They didn't give me a port because I was scheduled for ONLY 6 chemo cycles. I didn't want the radiation burns that began to appear.
I didn't want the pain and suffering. I’m not good at it. Didn't God understand that of all people I couldn't handle cancer?! I was stressed and fought internally about this whole thing happening. It’s harder than you imagine it will be.
But one day in the hospital I had an epiphany. Fighting against each painful step of my treatment was not helping me. It was hurting my healing. I had to somehow come to terms with what was happening to me and make peace with it. I had to accept that there were things happening that I didn't want to happen and I had to accept it. If I didn't surrender to this painful treatment I would surely lose my life.
It’s a tough place to be. Get treatment or die; It was that simple. I began to surrender in my mind and heart to treatment and remind myself that this would stop the growth of the cancer if I could just endure it.
A peace came over me as I let go. It was time to emotionally get in step with my treatment. It made a huge difference.
I had cancer. I was having cancer treatment. It sucked. I also got a C diff infection during treatment which complicated everything. My colon will never be the same. But, that's part of the journey. Fight the cancer, not your treatment. Make peace with it and it can save your sanity and stress level. Save all that fight for the recovery.
I am now one year cancer free and am grateful that I endured through the treatment. Every day is a blessing and I am so grateful to be here to fight another day!
Have you been able to make peace with cancer?
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